Housing Executive rents to rise in April
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The Department said the “below-inflation increase will provide funding for essential maintenance, improvements and investment while also keeping the rent affordable for tenants”.
The increase will apply from April 4 and equates to an average additional £4.86 per week, increasing the average weekly rent for tenants from £69.49 to £74.35.
Approximately 78 per cent of Housing Executive tenants receive full or partial Housing Benefit support or Universal Credit towards their rent.
The Housing Executive said each tenant will receive a letter over the next week detailing their new rent level.
Grainia Long, Chief Executive, said; “We are acutely aware of the financial pressures being faced by our tenants.
"Working alongside the Department for Communities, we wanted to ensure that the impact on tenants’ affordability was kept to a minimum, while at the same time making sure that we can continue to invest in our homes and provide tenant services.
"Rents pay for services to tenants.
"The decision to increase rents ensures ongoing investment in our tenants’ homes and continued provision of customer and neighbourhood services.
"A further rent freeze would have amounted to a cut in services, whereas the new rent level will improve our ability to invest in our stock and work to keep our tenants safe, warm and dry, and ensure sustainable levels of pay for our staff.
"It has also taken into the account the rate of inflation and rising costs for goods and materials.
“Last year we invested over £190m in maintaining and improving our homes and we are on track to increase this investment beyond £200m this year. The rent increase will be invested straight back into our houses and our customer services.
"Over recent months we have grown our Financial Inclusion Team to provide benefit checks to make sure tenants are receiving everything they are entitled to and to help resolve complex benefits issues.
“The team will advise tenants on other specialist sources of debt advice and other sources of financial support.
“We encourage any tenant who is having difficulty paying their rent, to immediately contact us for assistance and advice.”
Information about cost of living support and advice is available at: www.nihe.gov.uk/housing-help/cost-of-living-support-and-advice
Anyone who is concerned about their rent payments can contact their patch manager by phoning 03448 920 900.